Our first stop on our September 2023 Greece trip was Old Town Chania, in Crete. We visited Chania in both 2019 and also 2021 therefore, we were excited to be returning. You can check the links to my last visits for more information and places to enjoy. Although we revisited some of our favorite spots in Chania, we focused more on unique shopping places and a couple of recommended places to eat. This visit we stayed right on the harbor at Porto Veneziano Hotel and it was perfect for us.
It was a long haul getting there. We left early from home, flying Delta Airlines, and after two layovers we arrived in Athens. Once in Athens, we retrieved our luggage, checked the luggage back in, proceeded through security, and then waited for our Aegean Air flight. Aboard Aegean Air, our excitement increased as we flew over some of the Greek Islands and landed at the Chania Airport. This part of the trip all went smoothly although one bag did not make it but stayed in Atlanta! No worries though, after a couple of phone calls, Delta had it on the next flight to Athens and we received it before we had to board for Crete All in all, it worked out.
While I collected our luggage, Steve picked up our rental car. As a matter of fact, all went smooth and quickly. We used Chania Car Rentals and were very happy with the car and the service. What was nice is we were able to pick up the car here at the Chania Airport and drop it off later at the Heraklion Port. Due to a ferry strike we extended our trip by 3 days and it was no problem arranging an extension through the car company. *NOTE* If you have a driver’s license issued by the United States, you no longer need an International license.
Old Town Chania
We arrived in Chania and after settling in at our hotel, decided to walk around the town before dinner. We visited some of the same areas that we did on our walk through Old Town Chania during our 2021 Greece trip and you can click here to view that post.
Dinner at Chrisostomos
Dinner reservations were at Chrisostomos, just a short walk from our hotel. A friend of mine recommended this taverna and it was indeed wonderful. While not directly on the harbor, this restaurant was the perfect spot to reacquaint us with traditional Greek food. The food was very good and the service was also excellent. Without a doubt, this is the best dinner we have ever eaten in Chania! If you decide to go, make sure you have reservations as it was very busy.
After dinner we enjoyed walking to the lighthouse and also along the harbor. Walking to the lighthouse was quiet and peaceful in contrast to walking along the lively harbor. It was a great night.
A Bit of Shopping in Old Town
We woke up to the beautiful view of the harbor from our balcony. After a delicious breakfast we went shopping in Old Town Chania for some souvenirs of Greece and Crete. Later, we decided to look for a particular place for a snack.
I want to mention Flakatoras Cermaics. We bought a few things here and were impressed with the choices and quality. This is a family owned and operated business and pieces are made here in their shop. We enjoyed shopping here. Their workshop was easy to find and it is in an 800 year old building.
We couldn’t but stop and visit the cute shop of Tsakiris Sandals. The air was filled with the smell of fresh leather. There were many locally handcrafted leather products. Therefore, Steve bought a couple of belts and has been very pleased with them.
We heard about Bougatsa Iordanis while watching My Greek Odyssey and decided it was worth checking out. By the way, if you haven’t watched MyGreek Odyssey yet, it is our favorite Greek Resource. In fact, we have found the shows not only informative but entertaining as well. Although it was about a 15-20 minute walk each way from the harbor, we enjoyed seeing a different part of Chania. In fact, the busy business area compared to the touristy area was fun to walk around.
Iordanis Bougatsa has been making Bougatsa in Chania since 1922 and continues to follow their original recipe. Their original recipe prepares bougatsa the traditional way, with a myzithra cheese filling. Adding sugar and cinnamon on top gives it just a bit of sweetness. They even make their own phyllo dough! In addition, for those who enjoy a sweeter treat, they also make a bougatsa with a cream filing. So naturally, we ordered both and they were both delicious! Surprisingly, I prefered the cheese filing and Steve liked the cream filing so it worked out perfect.
Where We Stayed
This year we stayed right on the harbor in Old Town Chania at Porto Veneziano which was absolutely perfect for our first night in Crete. In the past, we stayed on a beach but I definetly prefered staying here to enjoy the liveliness of the nightlife in Chania. Our room was very comfortable and in addition, the balcony was a perfect spot to view the harbor. Breakfast was excellent and we were able to sit out doors and watch the harbor prepare for the day! The staff were all very kind and knowledgeable. I highly recommend this hotel!
Old Town Chania in Crete is such a great place to revisit. It is a fun, lively town with great Cretan hospitality and food. There is so much to discover at the shops and businesses. We always find something new and enjoy seeing the places we love. I look forward to revisiting again someday.